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Towsley Foundation Names Geriatric Simulation Center

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"Through the generosity of the Towsley Foundation, MSU College of Human Medicine will establish a state-of-the-art geriatric simulation center that will provide training that addresses the special needs of the elderly patient population in the areas of health, illness, communication and safety," said Marsha D. Rappley, MD, dean, MSU College of Human Medicine.

The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Geriatric Simulation Center will be an invaluable learning environment in the college. The $1 million grant from the Towsley Foundation that establishes the center includes a $500,000 endowment to support programming within the center. .

Medical simulation is an advancing field of medical training that incorporates computerized full-body physiological mannequins and simulated patients, role-playing actors who are trained to replicate medical conditions and the behaviors of patients and their families that are encountered in actual medical situations. The simulations can be highly challenging and extreme to give medical students hands-on training to develop both the clinical and communications skills that are needed in the practice of medicine. .

The Towsley Foundation Geriatric Simulation Center will be located in the Secchia Center, the future headquarters for the MSU College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Groundbreaking for the Secchia Center occurred in April. The college plans to enroll its inaugural class of 100 first-year students in Grand Rapids in 2010, when the new facility opens. Once the program is at full capacity, enrollment in Grand Rapids will be approximately 400 students. .

The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation provides grants to programs that promote education, health care, shelter, and nutrition for children, with additional areas of concentration in college and university education, medical education, conservation, and interdisciplinary programs in law and social work.